in reply to XML::Parser and Invalid XML

The problem is, no XML statement can begin with a number... so does anyone know how I can get XML::Parser to let that slide?

XML::Parser will not let it slide, because that is not valid XML. XML::Parser (expat, really) conforms extremely tightly to the XML standard. You need to get your data source to fix it, or if that's not possible perhaps run some regexes on the XML file before running through the parser.